Jacob Zuma’s state of nation address ‘not business as usual’

2014-06-16 16:53

As preparations get under way for President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation (Sona) address, political parties and NGOs have released their wish lists.

Zuma will deliver his address at 7pm tomorrow, following the usual pomp and ceremony.

The Freedom Front Plus said Zuma’s speech could not be “business as usual”.

“Zuma will have to come up with new initiatives to grow the economy and to prevent a repeat of the platinum strike,” FF Plus leader Pieter Mulder said.

“Changes to the labour laws, like the introduction of a secret ballot before every strike, can make a huge difference.”

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) called on Zuma to renew his focus on access to quality health care for all South Africans.

“We cannot afford for President Zuma and his new administration to paper over the serious cracks in both our public and private health care systems,” the TAC said.

Equal Education (EE) wants Zuma to provide leadership on how problems facing the country’s schools will be prioritised.

This included the norms and standards for school infrastructure, which was enacted last year.

“This law requires that we eradicate mud schools within three years, and that schools without water, electricity, sanitation and safety receive priority treatment,” EE said.

“Promises about mud schools have been made in Sonas going back to [then president] Thabo Mbeki in 2004, but for the first time this is now a legal requirement. We are interested to know what are government plans to make sure they comply with this new law within the set time frames.”

Zuma’s state of the nation address will be his first public appearance in more than a week after he was booked off by doctors following a gruelling election campaign.

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